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Earthquake Prediction in Kamchatka Region


A new Paradigm of Earthquake Prediction: Development of Theoretical Base and Real Time Application to an Analysis of Geodynamical Activity in the Kamchatka Region

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences
  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment
  • ENV-SEM/Seismic Monitoring/Environment
  • INF-OTH/Other/Information and Communications

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Volcanology, Far East Division, RAS, Russia, Kamchatka reg., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky\nKamchatka R&D Methodological Seismology Survey Party of the Geophysical Service of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, Kamchatka reg., Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky\nInstitute of Physics of the Earth, Russia, Moscow


  • University La Laguna, Spain, San Isidro\nConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche / Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, Italy, Tito Scalo\nUniversity of Electro-Communications, Japan, Tokyo\nRegional Agency for Health Prevention and Environmental Protection in the Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy, Emilia Romagna

Project summary

A new developed method of prediction of large earthquakes is based on use of Flicker-Noise Spectroscopy (FNS). The essence of a FNS approach is a new understanding of information which is contained in signals being produced by complex natural processes. It is accepted that irregularities of measured dynamic variables of open dissipated systems pertain information significance. Sets of irregularities of different type form information blocks and the purpose of researchers is to reveal such information. The FNS method permits us to do it.

To analyze dynamics of active geophysical medium in seismically hazardous regions natural signals presented in a form of chaotic series (time series) of different measured indicators are available or may be obtained by the researchers. Local flows of fluids (water, salt components and gases), electrochemical characteristics of the medium, geoelectrical flows, seismoacoustic and seismic emission, geophysical ground fields, indicators of ionosphere variability could be such signals. The Project’s authors assume that namely using generalized concepts on information introduced in the FNS approach actual problems of exposing medium term (~ 50–150 days) and short-term (hours- several days) precursors of a large earthquake may be solved.

The required information is extracted from population of non-stationary chaotic series of measured dynamic variables (sometimes after preliminary filtration of deterministic components) by analyzing capacity spectra and different moments of various orders averaged by some time intervals. The length (duration) of averaged intervals as well as a «step» of such intervals’ displacement along the time axis during the analysis of varying condition of geophysical medium are being determined by a character of analyzed dynamic variable, frequency of data withdrawal, supposed capacity of a predicted event, peculiarities of the region’s geodynamics and other factors. Based on «non-stationary» different moments and capacity spectra dimensionless criterial correlations characterizing non-stationarity measure of researched dynamics are being constructed. The most radical variations of these criteria values may be considered as «precursors» of catastrophic events occurring in a considered system.

We relate a “precursor” phenomenon to completion of reconstruction of the active geological medium structure from one condition to another on the analyzed level of scopes indicating to the medium “readiness” to further radical variations of its state. It is extremely important to bear in mind this circumstance since “complete readiness” of such dynamic system to catastrophic reconstruction – a large earthquake is related to preliminary reconstruction of its structure on wide set of spatial-temporal scopes. Namely therefore, the representations on a set of “precursors” with different typical temporal scopes to reveal which the analysis of different data obtained at various frequencies of the information withdrawal is needed, are being introduced.

To determine medium-term precursors of a large earthquake daily perennial data (electrotelluric potentials, water balance variations, emanation of different gases etc.) are being analyzed. To determine short-term precursors testifying about completion stages of reconstruction of the geological medium structure prior earthquake hourly or minute data (geoacoustic, ionospheric and so on) are being analyzed. Apparently, more full information on the geological medium condition prior large earthquake may be obtained if multi-pointed simultaneous measurements of dynamic variables Vi(t) (i= 1,2, ... N) are being realized in a region of a future earthquake (the area with a typical size ~ 100 km). According to FNS methodology, the analysis of multi- pointed correlation relations allows us to conclude about dynamics of correlations being realized in energetically induced geological medium- and direction of transfer of inducements between the areas where the signals Vi(t) are being registered.

The given concept was used at search of medium-term “precursors” prior large earthquakes (M > 6) by analyzing perennial time series of some geodynamic indices (the fluids flows, electrochemical characteristics of rocks etc.) being observed in a number of seismically active regions. Some peculiarities in the behavior of the characteristics of non-stationary measure of analyzed values display 50–150 days prior relatively large earthquakes. They may be considered as medium-term «precursors» of these earthquakes.

The purpose of a proposed project is development of an effective method of earthquake precursors’ search. A search of integral «precursors» will be realized on archive geophysical data (seismoacoustic noise, water balance variations, emanation of different gases, seismic activity and so on) bases being available and also replenished in real time. It will allow the authors to formulate the necessary medium-term and short-term criteria of «readiness» of active geophysical medium to catastrophic reconstruction. To elaborate a developed concept the data relating to dynamics of seismically active regions of other countries (Italy, Japan etc.) will be also analyzed. Special seismoacoustic investigations in seismically active regions of Kamchatka using home made highly sensitive magnetically elastic geophones are planned to be carried out. In a process of the project’s implementation modernization of existing geophones is supposed to be realized solving problems of a recorded signal gain, analysis, registration and transmission of data according to modern requirements on reliability and functional possibilities. A concept of creation of a network (local or global) of observations of seismoacoustic emission will be developed.

The project is planned for three years.

By the end of the first year it is supposed:

1. To develop concepts on aggregate FNS sets of information parameters («passport patterns», «passport parameters»), adequately characterizing behavior of non-stationary chaotic dynamics of complex open systems. To introduce a set of factors of the process’ “non-stationarity” as a key concept solving a problem of revealing «precursors» of catastrophic evolution of open complex system. To check a given concept on model physical-chemical, electrochemical, semi-conducting systems.

2. To develop methodology of evaluation of dynamic state of seismically active geophysical medium and prediction of large earthquakes based on time series of measured dynamic variables; to create a corresponding package of computer programs.

3. To develop a FNS approach to the analysis of data of «multi-pointed» measurements obtained at simultaneous measurements of geodynamic activity indicators in spatially separated points to reveal internal dynamics of redistribution of inducement in distributed seismoactive systems; to create a corresponding package of computer programs to calculate two-pointed correlators.

By the end of the second year it is supposed:

1. To develop methodology of flicker-noise spectroscopy for the analysis of wavelet cards obtained in processing time series by standard wavelet analysis in order to reveal «frequencies’ dynamics» in reconstructed seismoactive medium, to create a corresponding package of software.

2. To conduct a FNS analysis of hydro-chemical daily observations, obtained at the four hydro-seismological stations (twelve water points-blowing wells and thermal springs) since 1977 till present of debit and water temperature, chemical composition of waters, their hydro-gas regime (over 20 parameters in all) in wells near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Elizovo since 1977.

3. To conduct a FNS analysis of data on geo-acoustic noise, measured in wells using equipment developed by the project authors which has no analog in the world, at Kamchatka test site and observatories of Obninsk (near Moscow), Baksan (the North Caucasus), Byelorussia, starting from 2000 till 2003.

By the end of the third final year of the project implementation it is supposed:

1. To check efficiency of prognostic signs developed at the project’s previous stage, in current time mode at the Kamchatka geophysical test site.

2. To develop formalized criteria of seismic hazard assessment at different time intervals.

3. To realize the analysis of adequacy of supposed prognostic situation to real situation of occurring of relatively large seismic events based on FNS methodology.

4. To develop principals of classification of seismically active medium’s condition based on phenomenological knowledge on dynamics of catastrophic event arrival and model concepts on evolution of controlled geophysical system in order to reveal precursors of catastrophic earthquakes on this basis.

5. To develop methodical recommendations on use of a FNS analysis within a complex system of earthquake prognosis.

In a process of the project implementation its participants plan to carry out data exchange with foreign collaborators, to conduct with them joint discussions of obtained results at different stages of the project implementation and comparison of the project’s results to the data obtained by the collaborators and world science. The project’s realization provides to scientists and specialists from the Russian Federation who participated in nuclear arms’ tests and development of missile technologies a possibility to reorient their abilities to peaceful activity, favors integration of scientists from the Russian Federation to international scientific society, supports fundamental and applied investigations in peaceful purposes and promotes to solution of national and international technological problems that corresponds to the purposes and direction of ISTC activity.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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